My guest for this episode is Darek Trowbridge. Darek is the mind and body behind Old World Winery. He refers to himself as a soil farmer rather than a grape farmer, and this earth-first approach had led him to coin the term “Pastoral Winemaker” … because Darek has been making Natural Wine since before anyone called it natural wine.
That’s right, Darek is a pioneer in the natural wine movement, and a true OG who started his winery in the 90’s and was farming vineyards before that. He has a wealth of information to share from well over 25 years of regenerating vineyard ecosystems and shepherding wine.
We talk about exactly how he does this, bringing vineyards planted in the 1800’s back to vibrant vitality by building soil carbon. We talk about how he uses sesame oil as his only fungicide, his farming of the only Abouriou vineyard in the New World, and how he is helping Sonoma County reduce wildfire risk while regenerating soil health with proprietary woodchip compost through his Soil Carbon Management Company.
Darek is someone who has ignored the trends and just continued to make farming-first wine for decades. And because of that he probably hasn’t gotten the attention he deserves. So I’m thrilled to be able to share the beautiful work he’s been doing.